In 2014, my husband's parents moved into town. It was a big deal. My father-in-law, almost 77 years young at the time, was born on this farm and had literally never lived anywhere else. My husband had only lived one other place besides the farm, in River Falls, WI with me, for a few years before and after we got married. Hubby always wanted to live on the farm again. Due to the level of physical work that home and farm building maintenance, mowing, and general fix-its require on a farm, it made sense for Grandma and Grandpa to move to a simpler home with an association to take care of all that tedium, and the next generation to take over those tasks on the farm. Making sense, however, isn't the same as making it easy.
The transition brought those feelings of fear and awkwardness and loss and excitement that come with big change. I assume these extended on both sides of the transaction and into the extended family, although we are all from a culture and heritage that doesn't put much stock in talking directly about feelings.
As I was walking back from the mailbox today, I remembered an early day in that awkward time when I started to feel welcomed and at home. Grandpa came out one day to check on his farm, and we went for a little walk with the girls up the driveway because he wanted to hang up an old sign that had been in storage for some time:
We are cared for. And grateful.